Z is for Zero Drag

By: Joshua Glenn
July 30, 2012

A series of 26 posts featuring excerpts from Joshua Glenn’s The Idler’s Glossary (Biblioasis, 2008) and The Wage Slave’s Glossary (Biblioasis, 2011). Both books were coauthored by Mark Kingwell, who contributed entertaining philosophical-critical essays on the subjects of idling and wage slavery; and both were wittily illustrated and designed by the cartoonist Seth.


A 1999 New York Times article noted that this term — borrowed from physics, and meaning “an ideal state where a moving object experiences no resistance” — had become New Economy slang for “a no-spouse, no-children way of life.” Start-ups and other firms are often eager to hire employees whose drag coefficient is zero. If this way of life sounds attractive, just remember what Steve McQueen’s character, Vin, in The Magnificent Seven, says about the nomadic gunslingers’ way of life: “Home — none. Wife — none. Kids — none. Prospects — zero.”


ALSO: Alienation | Big Rock Candy Mountains | Corporation | Dawdle | Employee of the Month | Flazy | Greybearding | Hobo | Inemuri | Jack of All Trades | Knock Off Work | Lazy | Micawberish | Nobbing It | Onboarding | Pink Slip | Quitter | Robot | Stakhanovite | Time and Motion Study | Unemployment | Volupté | Wage Slavery | Xerox Subsidy | Yakuza | Zero Drag


Idleness, Read-outs